How important is the efficiency of a speaker to you?

I went to an audio meeting recently and heard a couple of good sounding speakers. These speakers were not inexpensive and were well built. Problem is that they also require a very large ss amp upstream to drive them. Something that can push a lot of current, which pretty much rules out most low-mid ( maybe even high) powered tube amps. When I mentioned this to the person doing the demo, i was basically belittled, as he felt that the efficiency of a speaker is pretty much irrelevant ( well he would, as he is trying to sell these speakers). The speaker line is fairly well known to drop down to a very low impedance level in the bass regions. This requires an amp that is going to be $$$, as it has to not be bothered by the lowest impedances.

Personally, if I cannot make a speaker work with most tube amps on the market, or am forced to dig deeply into the pocketbook to own a huge ss amp upstream, this is a MAJOR negative to me with regards to the speaker in question ( whichever speaker that may be). So much so, that I will not entertain this design, regardless of SQ.

Your thoughts?


I like tube amps and generally don't like high powered tube amps so I look for sensitivity in speakers my current AN-J's are 93db and work well on 3.5 2a3 watts. 😉


I too generally prefer low-powered tube amps.  That makes high efficiency and easy load important qualities of a speaker.  AN-J’s are not very high in efficiency, but they are intended to be placed in the corner of a room, which boosts the level of bass and makes them effectively more efficient, and they present an easy load to the amplifier.  I heard crazy-good sound from AN-J SECs driven by a Kageki amp (parallel 2a3 SET amp); an incredibly good match even though the Kageki is something like a 6.5 wpc amp.



this seems like simply a venting thread as nothing is going to change- inefficient speakers require more power than efficient speakers. 

Gan and Purifi based Class D amps will drive any inefficient speakers and the cost is not excessive. I used a Purifi Class D rated at 300wpc to drive ML Vantage speakers which go as low as 1 ohm at times.

It all depends how you want your personal system to sound to you.

Each of us has their own specific criteria and system.

Took me 25 years to appreciate 4 ohm, 92 dB sensitivity speakers with an all vacuum tube preamp and vacuum tube amp (70 watts output).  If you want/like 8 ohm 86 dB sensitivity speakers you will most likely have to go with a high watt output solid state amp (>150 watts).  Which is fine!  I've had both type of systems but prefer the vacuum tube amps and efficient speakers.... The main problem is it takes so long and so much money to finally figure out what you really like.